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ATV Overview

A cutaway view of
the Automated Transfer
Vehicle (ATV) .
(Image: ESA/D. Ducros)

The International Station. This

Space Station (ISS) will be placed in
depends on regular the ATV, which will undock and take a
deliveries of experimental one-way trip to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.
equipment and spare parts as
well as food, air and water for its New generation spaceship
permanent crew. From its first launch The ATV, which is equipped with its own propulsion
in March 2008, Europe’s Automated and navigation systems, is a multi–functional
Transfer Vehicle (ATV) will become one of spaceship, which combines both the fully automatic
the indispensable ISS supply spaceships. capabilities of an unmanned vehicle with human
spacecraft safety requirements. To succeed in
Approximately every 17 months or so, the ATV docking safely with the Station, the ATV developed
will deliver up to 7.7 tonnes of cargo to the by the European Space Agency and European
International Space Station 400 km above the
Earth after being launched into orbit from the
European Spaceport in French Guiana by an
Ariane 5 launcher. An on-board high precision
navigation system will automatically guide the
ATV on a rendezvous trajectory towards the ISS,
where it will dock with the Station’s Russian
Service Module, Zvezda.

The ATV will remain attached as a pressurised and

integral part of the Station for up to six months.
During this time the ATV will also be used to
reboost the ISS to a higher altitude to counter the
effects of atmospheric drag. The final part of its
mission will be the removal and disposal of up to
6.4 tonnes of equipment, material and general Artist’s impression of the ATV on approach to docking with the
International Space Station. (Image: ESA/D. Ducros)
waste that is no longer used on the
Industry, has to be a highly sophisticated, new unloading cargo and equipment and other relevant
generation spacecraft. tasks.

The exterior is a cylinder, 10.3 metres long and The combination of the ATV and the Ariane 5
up to 4.5 metres in diameter covered with an provides Europe with the independent capability to
insulating foil layer on top of meteorite transport European equipment to the Station. This
protection panels. Extending from the main has very important political and operational
body of the spacecraft are its characteristic X- implications. By transporting propellants, gases
shaped metallic blue solar arrays. and other logistics goods to the Station for the
common use by the ISS partners and ISS systems,
Europe is contributing towards its share of the
Space Station operating costs. At the same time it
enables the delivery of experiments and scientific
facilities for use in the European Columbus
laboratory, which was launched and attached to the
ISS in February 2008.

Jules Verne ATV being moved to an area at Europe's

Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on 3 January 2008 in
order to be loaded with Russian propellants.
(Image: ESA /CNES/Arianespace/Photo optique video du CSG)

Inside, the ATV consists of two modules: the ATV The Ariane 5 ECA on the launch pad at Europe's Spaceport in
Service Module containing the navigation and Kourou, French Guiana, on 13 August 2007.
(Image: ESA /CNES/Arianespace/Photo optique video du CSG)
propulsion systems; and the pressurised Integrated
Cargo Carrier, which houses the fluid and dry The ATV is developed under ESA contract by a
cargo to be transported to the ISS. The forward European industrial consortium lead by EADS
part of this Cargo Carrier docks with the ISS. Astrium.

Although no one will ever be launched in an ATV,

astronauts, dressed in regular clothing, will be able
to enter its pressurised section from inside the
ISS, when attached to the Station, for loading and
Integrated Cargo Carrier

Artist’s impression (cutaway view) of the ATV Integrated Cargo Carrier attached to the ISS. (Image: ESA/D. Ducros)

The Integrated Cargo Carrier is located on the The ATV pressurised cargo section is based on
forward end of the ATV, i.e. the end that docks the Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
with the ISS. It represents 60% of the total ATV (MPLM), which is already in service as a Shuttle-
volume and carries all of the cargo for resupplying carried ‘space barge’ transporting equipment to
the Station. and from the Station.

Pressurised Section (Dry cargo)

After docking with the Station and carrying out
important procedures such as leak checks, the
crew can open the Zvezda hatch, remove the ATV
docking mechanism and enter the 48 m³
pressurised section of the Integrated Cargo Carrier.
Up to two astronauts can work, unloading supplies
and conducting experiments, while the hatch
remains constantly opened between the ISS and
the ATV. The pressurised section contains the dry
cargo such as maintenance supplies, science
hardware, and parcels of fresh food, mail and
personal items and accounts for 90% of the volume
of the Integrated Cargo Carrier. The pressurised
section has room for up to eight standard racks Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gidzenko floating inside a Multi-
Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) attached to the
which are designed with modular aluminium International Space Station in March 2001. The ATV Integrated
elements to store equipment and transfer bags. Cargo Carrier is based on the MPLM. (Image: NASA)
- 840 kg of drinking water;
- 100 kg of air (oxygen and nitrogen);
- 860 kg of refuelling propellant for the Station’s
propulsion system;
- 4700 kg of propellant for re-boost;
- 5500 kg of dry supplies like bags, drawers and
fresh food;

Front Cone (Rendezvous and Docking

The ‘nose’ of the Integrated Cargo Carrier houses
the Russian-made docking system and avionics
and propulsion hardware, critical to the automatic
approach, rendezvous and docking of the ATV
The Pressurised section of the ATV Integrated Cargo carrier
being loaded with dry cargo on 8 December 2007. with the ISS. There are two videometers (image
(Image: ESA /CNES/Arianespace/Photo optique video du CSG) processing system able to compute distance and
orientation of the ISS), two telegoniometers,
Unpressurised section (Fluid cargo)
Behind the back wall or interface of the pressurised
section is the unpressurised section of the
Integrated Cargo Carrier where the fluid cargo is
stored. This external bay houses 22 spherical fluid
tanks of different sizes and colours. These tanks
are used to resupply the Station with refuelling
propellant for the Station's own propulsion system,
water and air (oxygen and nitrogen) for the crew.
This cylindrical bay and its tanks are not visible
from outside the ATV as they are enclosed by the
ATV Service Module. The fluid tanks’ contents will
be transferred through either dedicated pipes to the
Station's own fluid lines or through manually The Front Cone of the ATV Integrated Cargo Carrier pictured
operated hoses. on 16 August 2007 in Kourou, French Guiana. The Russian-
made docking system is protected by a red cap.
(Image: ESA /CNES/Arianespace/Photo optique video du CSG)

(which continuously calculate distance and

direction from the ATV to the ISS), two star
trackers (able to recognize constellations in the
sky), two visual video targets (used by the ISS
crew for visual monitoring of the ATV final
approach) and 8 minijets for attitude control.

The ATV is the active spacecraft during rendezvous

with the ISS. The 235 kg Russian docking system of
the ATV docks to the back of the Zvezda module
(this docking port can also be used for docking
Progress supply craft and Soyuz spacecraft). The
ATV docking mechanism enables physical,
Clear view of the fluid tanks of the ATV Integrated Cargo electrical and propellant connections with the
Carrier during procedures to tilt it to an upright position prior to
Station. It also ensures the ISS crew access to the
mating it with the ATV Service Module on 14 December 2007.
(Image: ESA /CNES/Arianespace/Photo optique video du CSG) pressurised section of the Integrated Cargo Carrier
through its 80 cm-diameter hatch by physically
Cargo Capabilities detaching the docking mechanism. The Russian
The ATV is designed to resupply the ISS with up docking system has been continuously refined since
to 7667 kg of cargo. Depending on the needs of it was originally developed in the late 1960s for the
the ISS, the ATV is able to accommodate very Salyut space station programme, and it remains the
different combinations of supplies, carrying up to: worldwide state of the art in docking mechanisms.
ATV Service Module
The avionics bay is the brain of the ATV. It looks
like a cylindrical ring of 1.36m high, and is located
in the upper part of the Service Module. It
accommodates critical items like computers,
gyroscopes, navigation and control systems and
communications equipment. All these items are
mounted on ten equipment carrier trays which are
protected from the temperature variations by
state-of-the-art heat pipes. The ATV Service
Module takes advantage of a very sophisticated
architecture for its hardware and software in order
to keep the ATV functioning in case of hardware
failure or main malfunction.

ESA and NASA managers and astronauts inside the ATV

Avionics Bay on 19 November 2003 prior to mating with the
propulsion bay of the ATV Service Module. (Image: ESA)
The ATV Service Module being hoisted into position for
mating with the Integrated Cargo Carrier on
Electrical Power
12 December 2007. Two solar panels shown folded up. The Service Module houses the four solar arrays,
(Image: ESA /CNES/Arianespace/Photo optique video du CSG) which are deployed 100 minutes after lift-off.
These reach a total span of 22.3m and provide
The unpressurised ATV Service Module includes
propulsion systems, electrical power (including
solar arrays), computers, communications and
most of the avionics. With its own flight-control
and propulsion systems, the ATV has a high level
of autonomy which allows it to stay in free flight for
long periods of time, as well as to dock even if the
Station is totally dormant and unmanned. After
docking, these systems will be used to perform
ISS attitude control, debris avoidance
manoeuvres and raise the Station's orbit to
overcome the effects of atmospheric drag. On
completion of the resupply mission the systems
will be used to de-orbit the spacecraft, carrying up
to 6.4 tonnes of used equipment and general ISS
waste, and perform a controlled destructive re- Inspection of solar array for Jules Verne ATV at Europe's
Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on 1 November 2007.
entry high above the Pacific Ocean. (Image: ESA /CNES/Arianespace/Photo optique video du CSG)
electrical power to rechargeable batteries, which ISS attitude control, debris avoidance
are vital for powering ATV systems during eclipse manoeuvres and reboosting the Station. In order
periods in orbit. The solar arrays are comprised of to perform this reboost the ATV may use up to 4.7
silicium solar cells, spread on 4 carbon fibre tonnes of its own propellant at intervals of 10 to 45
reinforced plastic sandwich panels per array with days. At the end of the mission the ATV Service
a total surface area of 33.6m² (4 X 8,4m²) and Module thrusters will use their remaining fuel to
able to produce an average of 4800 watts. de-orbit the spacecraft.
Mounted on the ATV Service Module, the four sun
tracking arrays are totally independent and can
get the best orientation to the sun thanks to
rotating mechanisms.

Attitude control thruster cluster. (Image: EADS Astrium)

All the propellant tanks for spaceship propulsion

are located in the ATV Service Module, between
the main engines and the avionics bay. There are
eight titanium propellant tanks and 2 high
pressure carbon-fibre helium tanks. The
propellant tanks hold up to seven tonnes of
monomethylhydrazine (MMH) and nitrogen
tetroxide (N2O4), part of which will be used for the
station attitude and orbit control. These
propellants are pressurised by the helium.
End of the ATV propulsion bay clearly showing four
main thrusters and one complete attitude control
thruster cluster (lower right) covered with red protective
caps. Photo taken on 13 December 2007.
(Image: ESA /CNES/Arianespace/Photo optique video du CSG)

The ATV propulsion system provides the
spaceship with the capability to transport the ATV
to the ISS, navigating as a fully automatic
spaceship with four main engines (providing 490
N thrust) plus 28 smaller thrusters (providing 220
N) for attitude control. All valves and thrusters are
controlled by four control units connected to the
main ATV computers. Once docked to the Station,
the ATV’s propulsion capabilities can be used for
Key Mission Data

Mission Name: ATV Jules Verne Mission
ISS Mission Designation ATV1


Spacecraft Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV)
Spacecraft mass at launch 19,357 kg
Launcher Ariane 5 ES ATV

LAUNCH SITE European Spaceport, Kourou, French Guiana


Launch parameters
Scheduled Launch date 9 March 2008 (00:59 local time 04:59 CET)
Inclination 51.6 °
Initial Orbit Altitude 260 km

In-orbit parameters
Phasing 9 – 29 March 2008 *
Demo Day 1 29 March 2008
Demo Day 2 31 March 2008

Docking/post-docking parameters
Docking altitude 340 km
Docking date 3 April 2008
Undocking August 2008

ISS Crew at docking Peggy Whitson (NASA)

Yuri Malenchenko (Roscosmos)
Garrett Reisman (NASA)

* The phasing period will also include a period from 18 – 26 March in which the ATV will be in parked mode, holding a distance of
2000 km from the Station.

(please not that all dates listed above are open to variation)
Pre-Launch to Final Countdown
The ATV will be launched from the European Finally, with 6 min 30 s until ignition of the main
Spaceport in French Guiana by an Ariane 5 ES stage engine, the automatic sequence covering
ATV. It will be injected into a 51.6º orbit, the same the final checks and launcher activation
as the ISS, and at an altitude of around 260 km, procedures begins. The launcher becomes
below the Stations' altitude of around 340 km. autonomous with 1 min until main stage ignition
as the power supply is switched to Ariane 5
internal power.

With 22 s until main stage ignition the flight control

systems on the lower stages are activated,
followed 10 s later by a pressure check on the
main stage tanks. The main stage engine is now

Ariane 5 moving by rail to the launch pad.

One day before lift off the Ariane 5 launcher with

the ATV enclosed in its launch fairing is
transferred from the Final Assembly Building to
the launch pad along a rail track. Once the mobile
launch platform is connected to the launch area
final countdown can begin.

If everything is running smoothly at the ATV

Control Centre, at the Jupiter Launch Control
Centre in Kourou and other associated sites and
networks with 5 ½ h until launch, then the Ariane
5 main stage cryogenic tanks are filled. Also
during the final countdown the various launcher
subsystems are activated and checked and the
flight programme is loaded.

For the ATV with 2 hours until launch, data

exchanges occur between the ATV Control Centre
and Kourou and the latest software data is loaded
into the ATV.

15 minutes after a ‘go’ on launch status at launch

Artist’s impression of the ATV/Ariane 5 ES ATV launch
minus 30 minutes, the Ariane 5 starts its final
configuration (cutaway view). (Image: ESA/D. Ducros)
synchronised sequence, the ATV becomes fully
autonomous and the ATVs in-orbit flight profile is
uploaded. A final assessment that everything is
running smoothly at the control centres and
different sites is carried out with 10 minutes until
launch. With 8 minutes until launch the ATV
switches to autonomous power.
Launch and Early Orbit Activities
Once it has been ascertained that the Vulcain 2
engine is running normally, 7 s after ignition, the
solid rocket boosters are ignited and the Ariane 5
lifts off from the launch pad. The Ariane 5 is on
automatic pilot and is carefully monitored as it
carries the ATV into orbit.

Artist’s impression of the ATV enclosed in Ariane’s protective

fairing during the launch phase. (Image: ESA/D.Ducros)

launcher leaves the Earth’s atmosphere some 3 ½

minutes after launch the fairing is jettisoned,
lightening the launcher’s load by approximately
2.5 tonnes.
Launch of Ariane 5 ECA on 11 March 2007 from the
European Spaceport in French Guiana.
(Image: ESA /CNES/Arianespace/Photo optique video du CSG)

Approximately 138 seconds after liftoff, at an

altitude of 60 km, pyrotechnic devices free the
boosters and separation rockets distance the
spent boosters from the main stage. The boosters
then continue their trajectory for about 100 km
before falling into the Atlantic Ocean,
approximately 450 km from the launch site, where
they will be recovered.

The ATV is well protected under the fairing at

the top of the Ariane 5 against the high
aerodynamic pressures occurring during launch Ariane 5 booster in the Atlantic Ocean during recovery
up to an altitude of about 100km. Once the operations. (Image: ESA /CNES/Arianespace/Photo optique video du CSG)
After main stage separation over the Atlantic
Ocean, the Aestus engine of the upper stage will
perform a first boost lasting 8 minutes to reach an
elliptical orbit (136 km x 260 km). After a coasting
phase to the apogee of the elliptical orbit lasting
45 minutes, a second boost with a duration of 30
seconds serves to reach the ATV circular injection
orbit at an altitude of 260 km.

This second firing of the Aestus engine will take

place over southeast Australia, just over an hour
into the flight. At this point ATV telemetry will start
as will the initialisation of the ATV propulsion
Artist’s impression of the Ariane 5/ATV following fairing system and the ATV Control Centre will carry out a
jettison. (Image: ESA/D. Ducros) check of ATV status. Just short of 70 minutes after
launch the ATV will separate from the Ariane 5
Just over 9 minutes after launch the Vulcain engine
upper stage over the Pacific and will activate
shuts down. At this point the main stage separates
navigation and propulsion systems. Responsibility
and follows a ballistic trajectory during before re-
for the ATV flight has now transferred from Kourou
entering the atmosphere. Most of it burns up in the
to the ATV Control Centre in Toulouse, France.
atmosphere and the remaining parts fall into the
Pacific Ocean, some 2000 km off the coast of ATV communications are optimised by setting up
South America. a link via the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite
System. About 25 minutes after final separation
the ATV will be automatically navigating using
inputs from its startrackers. This is followed five
minutes later with deployment of the ATV’s solar
panels and 30 minutes after this with activation of
the ATVs onboard GPS. The ATV is now a fully
automatic spaceship navigating towards the
International Space Station.

For the Ariane 5 upper stage one orbit after

separation, now over Western Australia, the Aestus
engine will re-ignite briefly, for a third time. This will
cause the launcher's upper stage to de-orbit safely
and burn up during a precise destructive re-entry
over of the South Pacific Ocean.

Artist’s impression of the ATV in orbit. (Image: ESA/D.Ducros)

Engineers at Europe's Spaceport, in Kourou, French Guiana
lowering the ATV launch vehicle's storable propellant upper
stage inside the main cryogenic stage on 11 January 2008. Two hours after separation an ATV antenna,
(Image: ESA /CNES/Arianespace/Photo optique video du CSG) needed for final approach to the ISS, is deployed.
In-Orbit Activities: Phasing and Demonstration Days

Artist’s impression of ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle approaching the ISS. (Image: ESA/D.Ducros)

A few hours after ATV separation from the the ATV Control Centre’s capability to perform
launcher the ATV goes into the phasing stage of orbit navigation with the ATV’s GPS, and a
the mission, which will last for about three weeks. demonstration of the ATV’s ability to execute
A set of orbital manoeuvres prepared by the ATV orbital manoeuvres. However, the main objective
Control Centre are executed in order to bring the that will be demonstrated during this period is the
ATV from its current position in orbit to an ISS ATV’s capability to execute collision avoidance
interface point at a distance of 39km behind and manoeuvres, one of the means of ensuring the
5km below the ISS. safety of the ISS.

During this phasing period (after about 10 days The phasing stage of in-orbit activities is
in orbit) the ATV will hold in a parked position followed by two demonstration days prior to
2000 km from the ISS. This is to allow the next docking the first planned on 29 March, and the
shuttle flight (STS-123 due for launch on 11 second two days later. The first demonstration
March 2008) to complete its ISS mission, undock day will verify that the ATV can perform relative
and land before the ATV proceeds with its navigation with the ISS using relative GPS to
mission. This also provides a good opportunity to successfully and safely manoeuvre the ATV to a
assess the ATV’s ability to hold such a position point 3.5km behind the ISS and at the same
in orbit for future missions. orbital altitude. At this point an escape
manoeuvre will be commanded by the ATV
The phasing period will include a demonstration Control Centre, which will test that the ATV can
of the ATV’s attitude control, a demonstration of be brought into a safe orbit.
Artist’s impression of ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle coming into close proximity with the ISS. (Image: ESA/D.Ducros)

After the escape manoeuvre has been pre-defined position 19 m behind the Station. At
successfully completed, a series of orbital this point another escape manoeuvre will be
manoeuvres prepared by the ATV Control Centre initiated to bring the ATV away from close
will be executed by the ATV to bring it back to the proximity of the Station. This phase lasts about 6
ISS interface point 39 km behind and 5 km below hours.
the ISS to await continuation of the mission. Data
collected will be analysed at the ATV Control
Centre to make sure that everything has gone
according to plan.

The second demonstration day will test ATV close

proximity manoeuvring and control including
testing contingency manoeuvres for the ATV
Control Centre and the ISS crew. This will give
further confidence in proceeding with a close
approach towards the ISS.

At the beginning of demonstration day 2 the ATV

will be manoeuvred to a point 249 m behind the
ISS. At this closer distance the videometer and Artist’s impression of ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle
telegoniometer sensor equipment can be tested. coming into close proximity with the ISS. (Image: ESA/D.Ducros)
After moving on from this point the approach of
the ATV to the ISS will be slowed from 50 cm to 7 With this demonstration concluded a series of
cm/s over the first 200 m. The ATV will now orbital manoeuvres prepared by ATV Control
manoeuvre to within 11 metres of the docking port Centre will be executed by the ATV to bring it back
of the ISS Russian Service Module Zvezda where to the interface point for evaluation of the second
it will be commanded to hold its position. From demonstration day and to wait on the final go for
here the ATV will be commanded back to another actual rendezvous and docking a few days later.
Rendezvous and Docking

Artist’s impression of ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle coming to dock with the ISS. (Image: ESA/D.Ducros)

A few days after the successful completion of the The docking will be fully automatic with the
phasing and demonstration days in orbit the ATV videometer’s eye-like sensors, combined with
is now ready to dock with the ISS. The ATV sets additional parallel data ensuring an automatic
up a direct link with the Station, allowing the ATV docking with an incredible 1.5 cm precision. If
to start relative and accurate navigation to the ISS there are any last-minute problems, either the
using GPS technology. ATV’s computers, the control centre or the
Station’s crew can trigger a pre-programmed
The ATV again raises its orbital altitude to that of sequence of anti-collision manoeuvres, which is
the ISS, closing in to a distance of 3.5 km, and a fully independent of the main navigation system.
further thruster burn will bring the cargo ship up to
the 249 m mark where videometer and
telegoniometer data will be used by the ATV
computers for final approach and docking
manoeuvres. Again the approach of the ATV to
the ISS will slow down to 7cm/s though the
absolute speed will remain close to 28000 km/h.

As it gets closer to its objective, ground controllers

at the ATV Control Centre direct 'Jules Verne' in a
step-by-step predefined approach. This approach
is carried out in coordination with the Mission
Control Centre in Moscow, since the ATV docks on
the Russian Zvezda Service Module of the ISS,
and in overall coordination with Mission Control
Centre in Houston, which is responsible for overall
coordination of ISS activities. For each of these
Artist’s impression of ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle
steps, the ATV performs automated manoeuvres. docked with the ISS. (Image: ESA/D.Ducros)
Docked Activities

Artist’s impression of the ATV being used to raise the altitude of the ISS. (Image: ESA/D.Ducros)

With the ATV securely docked, the Station’s crew Station’s altitude to counter the effects of
can enter the cargo section and remove the atmospheric drag.
payload: supplies, science hardware, parcels of
fresh food, as well as mail and personal items
from their families. Meanwhile, the ATV’s fluid
tanks will be connected automatically (propellant)
or manually (water and air) to transfer their
contents to the Station.

The Station crew will manually release the air

supply carried by the ATV directly into the ISS
cabin atmosphere. For up to six months, the ATV,
mostly in dormant mode, will remain attached to
the ISS with the hatch remaining open. The crew
will steadily fill the cargo section with the Station’s
used hardware, material no longer used on the
Station and general waste.
The Automated Transfer Vehicle will enable ESA to transport
As and when it is deemed necessary and prudent, payloads to the International Space Station.
the ATV’s thrusters will be used to boost the (Image: ESA/D.Ducros)
Undocking/Destructive Reentry

Artist’s impression of the ATV burning up in Earth’s atmosphere at the end its mission. (Image: ESA/D.Ducros)

Once its re-supply mission is accomplished, the Station servicing. It is also a way for Europe to
ATV, filled with up to 6.4 tonnes of material no contribute to the ISS running costs by creating
longer used on the Station, will be closed by the jobs within European industry rather than by
crew and automatically separated. Its thrusters money transfers to its international partners.
will use their remaining fuel to de-orbit the
spacecraft, not at the shallow angle used for the Depending on the operational lifetime of the ISS,
relatively gentle re-entry of human spaceflight ESA plans to build several ATVs. Numerous
vehicles, but on a steep flight path to perform a companies from ten European countries, as well
controlled destructive re-entry high above the additional companies from Russia and the United
Pacific Ocean over a predefined uninhabited States share the work, with EADS Astrium in
South Pacific area. France as the prime contractor (See Organisations
and Industry).
From its first operational flight in 2008, Europe’s
most challenging spaceship will play a vital role in
ATV Payload
When the Jules Verne ATV is launched to the ISS Refuelling propellant (860 kg)
it will be carrying around 8.3 tonnes of wet and dry Once attached to the Station, 860 kg of refuelling
cargo with an additional 2.3 tonnes of cargo propellant will be transferred from the ATV to the
support hardware. The cargo will be used in order ISS. This consists of two different fluids: the fuel
to transport the ATV to the ISS, to reboost the ISS unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) and
to a higher orbiting altitude, to resupply the ISS, the oxidiser, nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4), which
and to deorbit the ATV with waste and items no provides a source of oxygen so the fuel can ignite
longer needed on the ISS at the end of the and burn in orbit. This will be used by the ISS for
mission. The cargo is split as follows: orbit and attitude control.

Water (270 kg)

This is what is known as potable water for use by
the crew for drinking, food rehydration and oral

Oxygen (20 kg)

This is used for resupply of oxygen in the
atmosphere inside the ISS, which is similar to that
on Earth. Once in orbit, the 20 kg of oxygen
carried up by Jules Verne ATV, is manually
injected by the crew into the ISS atmosphere.

Jules Verne ATV fuelling operations get underway at the

European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana in January
2008. (Image: ESA /CNES/Arianespace/Photo optique video du CSG) NASA astronaut Marsha Ivins holds a luxury 19th century edition
of the Jules Verne book 'De la Terre à la Lune' (From the Earth
Wet Cargo to the Moon) during the ATV Cargo Bench Review held at
Thales Alenia Space Italia, in Turin, Italy, on 3 October 2007.
Propulsion propellant (5.8 tonnes) (Image: ESA)
This takes up by far the largest proportion of the
ATV cargo. The ATV will use about 60% of the Dry Cargo
propellant in autonomously raising its orbit, A total of 1.3 tonnes of dry cargo is being
rendezvousing and docking with the ISS, as well transported to the ISS inside the Integrated Cargo
as verifying different manoeuvres on the way. It Carrier of the ATV. This includes 500 kg of food
will also be used for deorbiting the ATV on for the crew, 136 kg of spare parts for the
conclusion of its mission. The remaining 40% of European Columbus laboratory, which was
the propellant will be used by the ATV to reboost launched and attached to the ISS in February
the ISS to a higher orbiting altitude in order to 2008, 80 kg of clothing, and a number of
counter the effects of atmospheric drag, which additional items including public relations items to
cause the ISS to very slowly lose altitude, and for commemorate the Jules Verne ATV launch. This
ISS attitude control. The propellant consists of two includes two Jules Verne manuscripts.
different fluids: monomethylhydrazine (MMH)
accounting for around 2200 kg and mixed oxides
of nitrogen (MON3) accounting for around 3600 kg. (Please note that all amounts listed are subject to rounding-off)
Rendezvous and Docking Technology
From a distance of around 30 km from the ISS the
ATV will use relative GPS in order to close in on the
ISS up to a distance of 249 m. Hereafter the ATV
will use a brand new European-built technology
called a videometer, together with additional data
from telegoniometers, to successfully rendezvous
and dock with Russian Zvezda Service Module of
the International Space Station.

On the mobile platform simulating Zvezda (right), a set of

retroreflectors are facing sensors mounted on an articulated
industrial robotic arm simulating the ATV (left). The relative
motion between the two is identical to the one expected when
the ATV docks with the ISS. (Image: ESA)

Each of the 26 retroreflectors, which looks like a

small 2.5 cm cube, has the capability to reflect the
laser beam exactly in the direction it was sent from.
The precision of these optical devices is such that
Retroreflectors (Image: ESA) the reflection of the beam does not deviate by more
than 3 mm over a distance of 300 m.
Elements of the ATV’s rendezvous and docking
system known as retroreflectors are located on
the aft end of Zvezda. The videometer on the
front of the ATV emits pulsed laser beams, which
are passively reflected by these retroreflectors
resulting in unique light patterns. The videometer
analyses the image formed by the pattern of light
spots. This image processing provides the ATV
with its relative position and orientation to the
ISS, thus allowing it to identify, approach and
mate to Zvezda’s docking mechanism.

Two sets of different patterns of retroreflectors are

installed at very precise locations on the Zvezda
Service Module. One is a large 1.5 m sided
triangular shape and the other a smaller pyramidal
shape 8.5 cm in height. The Jules Verne videometer. (Image: ESA)
Like the two videometers, two telegoniometers
(one back-up), located on the ATV front cone,
emit laser pulses (at a different wavelength to the
videometers) towards the retroflectors on the ISS.
The travel time of the pulses, which are reflected
back, gives the distance between the two
spacecraft. The direction from the ATV to the ISS
is given by the orientation of the telegoniometers’
two built-in mirrors, which rotate to aim the laser
towards the retroreflectors.

The distance and direction information from the

telegoniometer can be compared to that obtained
via image processing using the videometer.
However, only the videometer can compute the
Engineers monitor ATV rendezvous testing at Europe’s largest orientation of the ISS. Activated at the same
ship hull test facility, 100 km west of Paris in 2006. (Image: ESA) 250 m distance from the ISS, the telegoniometer’s
radar-like pulses provide 10 000 hits per second,
The Jules Verne videometer is designed and whereas the camera-like videometer illuminates
manufactured by Sodern, a subsidiary of EADS, in its objective from once per second to 10 times per
Limeil-Brévannes, a Paris suburb. All ATV second as it approaches its target.
spacecraft will have two identical videometers,
installed 20 cm apart on the front of the ATV. Both
are active during rendezvous with one acting as a

To add redundancy and a safety margin to the

critical rendezvous operations, a secondary
sensor - called a telegoniometer, which is totally
independent and parallel to the videometer – will
also be used. The telegoniometer, which works in
a similar way as a radar, will continuously
calculate the distance and direction from the ATV
to the ISS.

Artist’s impression of the ATV targetting a laser beam

at the ISS. (Image: ESA/D.Ducros)

In support of these two independent systems,

each with its own back-up, additional data/
monitoring capabilities are also provided by the
Russian Kurs radar-based system within the final
3 ½ km to docking with visual imagery provided by
a video camera on Zvezda for the final 500 m.
Imagery is also available from US cameras in a
distance from 1 km to 250 m from the Station.
ESA and EADS managers observing ATV rendezvous testing
in August 2006. From left to right: Nicolas Chamussy, ATV
Programme Manager for EADS, Jean-Jacques Dordain,
Director General of ESA, John Ellwood, ESA’s ATV Project
Manager, Michael Menking, V.P. Orbital and Reusable
Systems at EADS, Daniel Sacotte, ESA Director of Human
Spaceflight and ESA astronaut Jean-François Clervoy, senior
advisor to the ATV programme. (Image: ESA)
Ariane 5 ES ATV
of the Ariane 5 has been designed to place the
ATV into a 260 km circular low Earth orbit inclined
at 51.6˚. From this orbit the ATV will use its own
propulsion system to automatically reach and dock
with the International Space Station (ISS).

The Ariane 5 ES ATV is 53 m in height, has a

diameter of up to 5.4 m and a mass of 760 tonnes
at lift off. It is composed of the same lower
sections as an Ariane 5 ECA using the same
boosters and the same cryogenic main stage
equipped with the improved Vulcain 2 engine. The
upper composite is composed of a re-ignitable
Storable Propellant Stage and a new reinforced
vehicle equipment bay as it will be placing more
than twice the payload mass of any previous
Ariane 5 launch into orbit.

The Ariane 5 solid propellant boosters are the
largest solid rocket boosters ever produced in
Europe. Weighing 37 tonnes each when empty,
they are 31 m high and 3 m in diameter. Each
booster consists of a steel casing enclosing three
segments and can contain in total about 238
tonnes of propellant. Although the casings are
only 8 mm thick, they can resist pressures of up to
64 bar. Ariane-5 boosters provide 1100 tonnes of
thrust, roughly 92% of the total thrust at liftoff.

The propellant has three main constituents:

• ammonium perchlorate: the oxidiser
• aluminium powder: acts as the reducer
• polybutadiene: binder and catalyser

At the base of each booster is the solid rocket

engine nozzle. This can be swivelled up to 7.3°
degrees around its axis to vary the direction of
Artist’s impression of Ariane 5 ES ATV (cutaway view)
(Image: ESA/D. Ducros) thrust. Approximately 132 seconds after liftoff, at
an altitude of 60 km, pyrotechnic devices free the
The Ariane launcher came into service with boosters and separation rockets distance the
Ariane 1 in 1979. Following its development spent boosters from the main stage. The boosters
through Ariane 2, Ariane 3 and Ariane 4, the eventually fall into the Atlantic Ocean where they
Ariane 5 made its first launch from the European are recovered.
Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana in December
1999 with ESA’s XMM satellite. Since it became Cryogenic Main Stage
operational Ariane 5 has launched satellites for Ariane 5’s cryogenic main stage is 30.5 m high
communications, Earth observation and scientific with a diameter of 5.4 m. When empty it weighs
research. only 12.5 tonnes and approximately 170 tonnes
when full of propellant. It is essentially composed
All Ariane 5 versions are composed of a central of an aluminium tank with two compartments: an
core stage to which two solid rocket boosters are upper compartment for liquid oxygen with a
attached. On top of this, different upper stage capacity of 120 m3 and a lower compartment for
configurations are integrated. The ES ATV version liquid hydrogen with a capacity of 390 m3.
Artist’s impression of Ariane 5 ES ATV upper composite (cutaway view) (Image: ESA/D. Ducros)

At the base of the Cryogenic Main Stage is the cryogenic main stage, it interfaces directly with the
Vulcain engine which delivers a thrust in the order upper stage. The vehicle equipment bay is a big
of 130 tonnes and operates for just under 10 cylindrical ‘basket’ 5.4 m in diameter. It stands
minutes after launch. It provides 8% of the total 1.56 m tall and weighs 1,300 kg without
thrust needed at liftoff and the full thrust after propellant. The Storable Propellant Stage sits in
booster separation and before ignition of the its centre.
upper stage. Two high-speed turbopumps force
the cryogenic propellants into the combustion and The Vehicle Equipment Bay can autonomously
thrust chamber at high pressure at a rate of 235 orchestrate the systems required to control a flight
kg/sec. During the ascent, the engine nozzle can such as engine ignition, separation of the
be swivelled to control the launcher's trajectory. boosters, the upper stage, and operation and
release of the individual payloads.
Storable Propellant Stage
The Storable Propellant Stage or upper stage is One of the features of the equipment bay is an
3.35 m high with a diameter ranging from 3.94 m independent attitude control system that can
at the bottom to 2.62 m at the top. It weighs direct the launcher throughout its propulsion
roughly 11 tonnes when fully loaded. The mission phases to reach the required orbit.
of the upper stage will be to provide the extra
energy to inject the ATV into the target orbit Fairing
following main stage separation. The upper stage The conical-shaped fairing is positioned on the
is essentially composed of a supporting structure, very top of the Ariane 5 launcher and consists of
two pairs of propellant tanks and an ‘Aestus’ two half shells connected by the vertical separation
engine. The propellants used in the upper stage system. Externally it is made of carbon-covered
are monomethyl hydrazine and nitrogen peroxide. aluminium honeycomb panels of variable thickness.
The pressure-fed Aestus engine can swivel along Its function will be to protect the ATV as the
two axes through a maximum angle of 16°. launcher rises from the launch pad through the
atmosphere to an altitude of approximately
Vehicle Equipment Bay 100 km. Once the launcher leaves the Earth’s
The Vehicle Equipment Bay is often called the atmosphere, approximately three minutes after lift
‘brains’ of the launcher. Situated on top of the off, the fairing is jettisoned.
European Spaceport, Kourou, French Guiana

Aerial view of the Ariane 5 launch pad and surrounding buildings at the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. (Image: ESA)

The ATV will be launched from the European it ideally placed for launches into geostationary
Spaceport in French Guiana. It covers an area of transfer orbit as few changes have to be made to
750 km2 and is surrounded on two sides by a satellite’s trajectory.
equatorial forest. To the east it has a 50 km
coastline bordering the Atlantic Ocean and to the Launchers also profit from the ‘slingshot’ effect
south lies the town of Kourou. created by the speed of the Earth’s rotation
around the axis of the Poles. This increases the
In 1964 the French Government chose Kourou, speed of a launcher by 460 m per second. These
from 14 other sites, as a base from which to launch important factors save fuel and money, and
its satellites. When the European Space Agency prolong the active life of satellites.
came into being in 1975, the French Government
offered to share the site with ESA. For its part, ESA Thanks to its geographical position, Europe’s
approved funding to upgrade the launch facilities at Spaceport offers a launch angle of 102°, enabling
the site to prepare the Spaceport for the Ariane a wide range of missions from east to north. In
launchers under development. fact, Europe’s Spaceport is so well placed that it
can carry out all possible space missions.
Since then, ESA has continued to fund two thirds
of the Spaceport's annual budget to finance the Safety is equally important. French Guiana is
operations and services and also finances new scarcely populated and 90% of the country is
facilities to accommodate new launchers such as covered by equatorial forests. In addition there is
Vega or for the exploitation of Soyuz. To date, no risk of cyclones or earthquakes.
ESA has invested more than €1.6 billion in
improving and developing the ground facilities at The high levels of efficiency, safety and reliability
Europe’s Spaceport and owns the special at Europe’s Spaceport are well known. In addition
infrastructure built for the Ariane launchers. to its many European clients, the spaceport also
undertakes launches for industries in the United
Kourou lies at latitude 5°3', just over 500 km north States, Japan, Canada, India and Brazil.
of the equator. Its nearness to the equator makes
ATV Control Centre, Toulouse, France
(Responsible for ATV operations)

The Flight Control Room of the ATV Control Centre. (Image: ESA)

The ATV Control Centre (ATV-CC) is located in systems, will start the journey to ISS where its
the elegant, modern-style Fermat Building of the optical rendezvous sensors will be used to dock
French Space Agency’s (CNES) Toulouse Space automatically. At the end of it’s four-month
Centre. Under contracts signed in 2003 CNES mission the ATV Control Centre will command the
has developed the ATV-CC and has prepared the ATV to separate from the ISS, loaded with waste,
operations of the first Automated Transfer Vehicle and carry out a controlled destructive re-entry into
mission, named Jules Verne under the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.
management of ESA.
An ATV mission will require complex interactions
Under the authority of ESA, the ATV-CC teams and shared responsibilities between control centres
(flight control, flight dynamics and engineering dispersed throughout the world. First, the ATV
support) will execute the pre-programmed mission Control Centre will work with the Guiana Space
plans and, if needed, implement any changes as Centre, in charge of launch and deployment of the
well as monitoring and controlling the ATV’s ATV. For rendezvous, docking and departure, the
orientation and orbital trajectory en-route to and ATV Control Centre will work in close coordination
approaching the ISS. These are challenging tasks, with the Mission Control Centres in Moscow and
requiring a very high degree of technical skill, since Houston. All the ATV ground control commands
it will be the first time that Europe accomplishes will be issued from Toulouse. For example, in case
these kinds of operations. of a major malfunction during the rendezvous, the
ATV Control Centre, as well as the ISS crew, can
After launch, under the responsibility of the initiate the Collision Avoidance Manoeuvre to move
Control Centre in Toulouse, the ATV will separate the spacecraft away from the Station before
from Ariane 5 and, using its own navigation making another rendezvous attempt.
To allow continuous coordination with the other
control centres and to remain in contact with the
ATV during the mission, using the NASA Tracking
and Data Relay Satellite System as well as ESA‘s
Artemis relay satellite, the ATV Control Centre will
rely on the European ISS ground communication
network, which is controlled from the Columbus
Control Centre located at DLR, in
Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.

The Columbus Control Centre. (Image: DLR)

Control Rooms and Operations Teams

Four teams work at the ATV Control Centre, in
three control rooms: Teams at work in the ATV Control Centre. (Image: CNES/B. Guindre)

1. The European Space Agency’s ATV The Flight Dynamics Control room, is home to the
Operations Management Team, in charge CNES flight dynamics team.
of the overall operations preparation and
execution activities, and of decision The third room houses an Engineering Support
making for off-nominal situations; Team comprising experts from ESA and EADS-
Astrium (the ATV prime contractor) who are ready
2. The Flight Control Team, in charge of the to support the flight controllers in case of
ATV operations; problems with the ATV systems. The engineering
support team gets involved when something is not
3. The Flight Dynamics Team, which is working as expected. Since these development
responsible for monitoring the ATV engineers are experts in the ATV systems, they
trajectory and attitude as well as are able to advise the flight control team on
computing manoeuvres. corrective measures in case of a failure.

4. The Engineering Support Team, providing

flight analysis and expertise for the whole

The main control room is dedicated to the ATV

mission execution/management performed by the
CNES flight control team, headed by the flight
director. He is in charge of the real time decisions
in coordination with the ESA ATV Mission
Director, who sits along side the CNES Flight
Jupiter Control Centre, Kourou, French Guiana
(Responsible for Ariane 5 launch and ascent and placing ATV into orbit)

The Jupiter Control Centre in Kourou prior to an Ariane 5 launch. (Image: ESA/CNES/ARIANESPACE)

The Jupiter Control Centre has responsibility for based on information on the status of the
launch of the Ariane 5 ES ATV, which will place launcher, the ATV and the meteorological
the ATV into orbit up until the point of separation conditions at the launch site.
of the ATV with the Ariane 5 upper stage.
The Director of Operations is responsible for
This control centre, situated in the Jupiter building coordinating the launch sequence and for the final
about 12 km away from the Ariane launch pad, countdown. After lift-off the Director of Operations
will receive all the information regarding the ATV provides information on the status of the main
launch. Final countdown takes place here and the automatically initiated events, such as the
flight of the Ariane 5 is closely monitored until the separation of the boosters and the ignition of the
ATV has been accurately placed into the correct upper stage.
As soon as the ATV is correctly injected into space,
On the day of a launch, the decision to launch is the Director of Operations can announce that the
taken by the Flight Director from Arianespace, Ariane 5 mission has been successfully completed.
Mission Control Centre – Moscow, Russia
(Responsible for Russian ISS modules and Soyuz/Progress spacecraft)

ISS Control Room at the Mission Control Centre in Korolev near Moscow. (Image: NASA)

For ATV missions, The Russian Mission Control Moscow. TsNIIMash, the Russian acronym for the
Centre is the mission authority for all ATV-ISS Central Research Institute for Machine Building,
joint operations (rendezvous, attached phase operates the facility on behalf of the Russian
active operations, etc.) and is responsible for Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos. The ISS
controlling the ISS during the run-up to ATV flight control teams are provided by RSC-Energia.
rendezvous, for providing the interface with the
ISS crew and for controlling ATV for all attached TsUP was built in 1973 and was used as the
active operations with the ISS such as reboosting Mission Control Centre of the Mir and Salyut
the orbit. space stations and houses the flight control rooms
for the Progress and Soyuz launches.
The control centre, known as TsUP in Russian, is
situated in Korolev (formerly Kaliningrad) near
Mission Control Center – Houston, Texas, USA
(Overall Control of ISS activities)

ISS Flight Control Room at the Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas during the transfer of ESA’s Columbus laboratory from Space
Shuttle Atlantis to the European-built Node 2 of the International Space Station on 11 February 2008. (Image: NASA)

The NASA Mission Control Center, located at for all ISS activities, including ISS flight
the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in control.
Houston, Texas has been the heart of NASA
Human Spaceflight operations since 1965. For ATV missions, Mission Control – Houston has
There are different Flight Control Rooms at the overall ISS mission authority and coordination
control centre covering ISS Operations and responsibility. It has responsibility for overall ISS
Shuttle flights. The ISS Flight Control Room safety and leading the investigation of anomalies
began operations on 20 November 1998. It as well as for providing Tracking and Data Relay
acts as the command and coordination centre Satellite services for the ATV mission.
ATV Industrial Team

Geographical distribution of ATV industral team in Europe

The ATV is part of the European participation in Space Transportation in France prior to
the ISS which is an optional ESA programme. Ten reintegration into EADS Astrium). In addition to
of the ESA Member States have decided to the business units (Astrium Space Transportation
participate in ISS project and, as such, are also and Astrium Satellites) and subsidiaries of EADS,
involved in the ATV. the European companies also involved in the ATV
programme include Thales Alenia Space, Oerlikon
Each country decides in which optional Space, Dutch Space (now part of EADS Astrium),
programme they wish to participate and the Snecma (part of the SAFRAN group), MAN and
amount of their contribution. ESA operates on the many others.
basis of geographical return, i.e. it invests in each
Member State, through industrial contracts for It also implicates the cooperation of a number of
space programmes, an amount corresponding to Russian companies, whose main contractor is
each country's contribution. RSC Energia, which has built the ATV docking
mechanism, the refuelling system and the
The ATV project involves dozens of companies associated electronics. The programme also
and thousands of technicians and engineers from involves the cooperation and a number of US
ten European countries under the prime companies.
contractorship of EADS Astrium (formerly EADS
Rendezvous and Docking (3 April 2008)

Rendezvous and Docking Events Rendezvous and Docking Schedule

On 3 April 2008, Jules Verne ATV approaches ISS Distance to ISS Critical events
for the first docking attempt.
*S-1/2 (39 km behind and 5 ATV in waiting mode for final
km below) go ahead.
At point S3, at a distance of 250 m, the ATV
computers use videometer and telegoniometer data S1 (15.5 km behind and 5 Homing starts.
for final approach and docking manoeuvres. The km below)
approach of ATV to the ISS slows down to 7cm/s. S1 planned GO
11:17 GMT/13:17 CEST
As Jules Verne gets closer to its objective, ATV
Control Centre flight controllers direct ATV in a S2 (3.5 km behind and External lights activated.
step-by-step predefined approach. The ISS crew 100 m above) Russian Kurs radar-based
monitors the approach using the Simvol screen S2 arrival system activated - ISS crew
inside Zvezda. If ATV moves out of predefined 12:04 GMT/14:04 CEST can begin using this data.
S2 depart Closing begins using relative
corridor, the crew initiates a CAM manoeuvre.
12:36 GMT/14:36 CEST GPS.
The approach requires authorisation from Russian 500 m Video system turned on for
Mission Control Centre in Moscow (MCC-M) ISS crew to view ATV on
because the ATV docks with the Russian Zvezda Simvol screen.
segment of ISS. An overall coordination with S3 (249 m behind) Videometer and
Mission Control Centre in Houston (MCC-H) is also S3 arrival telegoniometer are activated.
required as they are responsible for the entire ISS. 13:16 GMT/15:16 CEST Go for Final Approach 1.
For each of these steps, ATV performs automated S3 depart Speed of ATV slows down
13:52 GMT/15:52 CEST from about 40 cm per second
to 7 cm per second.

ATV Commands S4 (19 m behind) Close range videometer

HOLD – Generally reaction to a minor problem that S4 arrival navigation is used. Pointing
14:13 GMT/16:13 CEST manoeuvre towards the
can be solved in acceptable time. Hold will only be
S4 depart Docking Port axis. Go for
taken into account by ATV between S3 and S4. 14:29 GMT/16:29 CEST Final Approach 2.
ATV-CC sends RESUME command to continue.
RETREAT – Can be commanded by ATV-CC and S41 (11 m behind) Go to continue the Final
ISS crew between S3 and docking. ATV will always S41 arrival Approach 2.
14:31 GMT/16:31 CEST
retreat to the previous Station Keeping point. S41 depart
ESCAPE – Can be triggered autonomously by 14:37 GMT/16:37 CEST
ATV, by ATV-CC or by ISS crew. Escape
manoeuvre is a 4 m/s retrograde manoeuvre. Capture ATV docks to Zvezda.
14:40 GMT/16:40 CEST
Collision Avoidance Manoeuvre (CAM) – Can be
triggered autonomously on board ATV, by ATV-CC Hooks closed ATV permanently
(ABORT command), or by the ISS crew (ABORT 15:14 GMT/17:14 CEST connected to Zvezda.
command, so-called ‘red-button cam’).
Credits Contacts

This document has been compiled, produced and European Space Agency (ESA)
written by the Coordination Office of the European Directorate of Human Spaceflight, Microgravity
Space Agency’s Directorate of Human and Exploration Programmes
Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration ESTEC, Keplerlaan 1, PO Box 299
Programmes in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. It 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
has been compiled from internal ESA sources Tel: +31 (0) 71 565 6799
with additional images and information kindly Fax: +31 (0) 71 565 5441
supplied by the following organisations:
EADS Astrium
ESA Media Relations
French Space Agency (CNES) ESA Head Office, Paris, France.
Tel. + 33 1 5369 7155
National Aeronautics and Fax. + 33 1 5369 7690
Space Administration (NASA)

Thales Alenia Space

EADS Astrium

French Space Agency (CNES)

National Aeronautics and Space

Administration (NASA)

Thales Alenia Space
Utilisation Relevant Data Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV)
Launch Configuration Launch site: Kourou, French Guiana.
European ser vicing and logistics vehicle
Payload 8 racks with 2 x 0.314 m3 and 2 x 0.414 m3 First flight: Spring 2008
envelope: each 1.146 m3 in front of 4 of these 8 racks Flight rate: Mean: 1 ATV/18 months The Automated Transfer Vehicle is an unmanned automatic vehicle which is put in orbit by the
Cargo mass: Dry cargo: 1,500 - 5,500 kg On Orbit Configuration European Ariane 5 launcher. It provides the International Space Station with: pressurized cargo,
Water: 0 - 840 kg Deployed solar arrays, with a total span of water, air, nitrogen, oxygen and attitude control propellant. It also removes waste from the station and
Gas (Nitrogen, Oxygen, air, 2 gases/flight): 0 - 22.3 m, that provide electrical power to re-boosts it to a higher altitude to compensate for the atmospheric drag.
100 kg rechargeable batteries for eclipse periods.
ISS Refueling propellant: 0 - 860 kg (306 kg Automated flight towards the International
of fuel, 554 kg of oxidizer) Space Station.
Flight Hardware
ISS re-boost and attitude control propellant: 0 -
4,700kg Propulsion and re-boost system
Avionics equipment
Total cargo upload capacity: 7,667 kg
Guidance navigation and control system
Launch vehicle: Ariane5(300x300km,51.6°transferorbit Ranging S-Band Antenna GPS antennas TDRS antennas Attitude control and braking
Communications system
ATV will be launched with its solar panels Power generation and storage system
cues Boom for positioning for communication thrusters (28 x 220 N)
folded to the body of the spacecraft. Electrical Thermal control system
power will be supplied by non rechargeable Russian docking and refueling system


Propulsion Module (PM) Water and gas tank Stand-off Primary Main engine
structure (4 x 490 N)

Multi-Layer 2 x visual targets
Insulation for crew monitoring

2 x star

Russian 4 x solar arrays

Micrometeoroid and
docking for generation of
orbital debris
and refueling electricity
protection system

Radio frequency link with

4 x optical Space Station Multi-Layer
rendez-vous sensors for proximity operations Insulation blanket

Spacecraft Integrated Cargo Carrier

subassembly (ICC)
PROJECT: International
Illustrations: ESA/D. Ducros

Space Station
Transfer Vehicle EUC-ESA-FSH-003 1.2 ERASMUS User Centre and Communication Office - Directorate of Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration Programmes
Length: 9,794 mm (probe retracted)
Largest diameter: 4,480 mm
Solar arrays span: 22,281 mm
Mass Budget
Vehicle dry mass: 10,470 kg
Vehicle consumables: 2,613 kg
Total vehicle mass: 13,083 kg
Total cargo upload capacity: 7,500 kg
Mass at launch (max): 20,750 kg
Waste download capacity: 6,300 kg
(420 km altitude, 51.6° inclination)
Main propulsion system: 4 x 490 N thrusters (Pressurized
liquid bi-propellant system)
Attitude control system: 28 x 220 N thrusters (Pressurized
liquid bi-propellant system)
Propellant: Monomethyl hydrazine fuel and
Nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer
Pressurization: Helium pressurant at 31 MPa
Communications Infrastructure
To ground: S-band via TDRS satellite
ATV to ISS: S-band antenna via Proximity link
Navigation: GPS
Thermal/Environmental Control
Thermal Control: Multi Layer Insulation material,
2045 1360
active thermal control using
4482 Variable & Constant Conductive
Heat Pipes and paints
ECLSS: Fire detection, air circulation, air
temperature monitoring
Electrical Power
Ascent to ISS and de-orbit: 4 Solar panel wings of 4 panels
each and 40 Ah rechargeable
Number of arrays: 4
Number of panels/array: 4
Generated power: 3,800 W after 6 months in orbit
11 Required power: < 400 W Dormant mode,
15 supplied by ISS: < 900 W Active mode
Main Construction Material
Pressure shell: Al - 2219
Micrometeoroid and Debris
Protection System:
Primary bumper: Al-6061-T6
Secondary bumper: Nextel/Kevlar blankets
Internal structure (racks): Al-6061-T6
∅ 22281
22316 Thermal insulation: Goldised Kapton Multi-layer Insula-
tion blanket & aluminised beta cloth
Solar arrays: Silicium Solar Cells on 4 Carbon
Fibre Reinforced Plastic
Sandwich panels
Main Contractor
EADS-Space Transportation,
Leading a consortium of many
957 3405 4916

9794 (probe retracted)

10269 (probe deployed)


Space Station DIMENSIONS : mm


Transfer Vehicle EUC-ESA-FSH-003 1.2